Blowzabella’s first album recorded in 1982. The record company mislaid the master tapes soon after so it was never re-released on CD. As a result it has been something of a lost album – known only to those with an original vinyl LP or a bootleg cassette. Jon Swayne and Paul James have restored the recordings as far as possible from a pristine vinyl copy.
The French tunes were learned from visits to the festival at St Chartier, some came from Sam Palmer and his mother Susann Palmer (who wrote the book “The Hurdy-Gurdy”) and some from a French dance group in London. Chris Gunstone, being half Greek, brought the Balkan repertoire to the band and Chris, Jon and others would sometimes play for the London Balkan dance group Izvoren. For a band that was known from the beginning as playing European music there are a lot of English traditional tunes included too as we had all grown up with home grown folk music. Some of the other repertoire came from the tunes Paul, Cliff and Chris honed through busking in London.
The cover photograph, by Ian Martin, was taken at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. Known as the actor’s church, Samuel Pepys saw one of the first ever Punch and Judy (Punchinella) shows there in the 17th Century. The name Blowzabella comes from a 17th Century Italian Commedia del Arte play - Comedia being one of the origins of Punch and Judy.
Chris Gunstone – bouzouki, drum, vocals.
Paul James – English bagpipes, soprano rauschpfeife, bombard, soprano saxophone, tin whistle, recorder, vocals.
Sam Palmer – hurdy-gurdy.
Dave Roberts - melodeon, diatonic button accordion, piano, tambura, percussion.
Cliff Stapleton – hurdy-gurdy.
Jon Swayne – English, Flemish and Macedonian bagpipes, recorders, flute, curtal, tin whistle, vocals.
Recorded at Woodworm Studios, Barford St Michael, Oxon., England. 1982. Engineered by Mark Powell. Artwork by Janina Lech. Print and typesetting by Graham Bignell. Cover photograph by Ian Martin at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, London.
All titles traditional, arranged Blowzabella. The copyright in these sound recordings are the property of Chris Gunstone, Paul James, Sam Palmer, Dave Roberts, Cliff Stapleton, Jon Swayne.